Adults Learning Music
From when we began Felton Music, several people have said they wish they could cope better with music notation. As a result, a Music Literacy course was devised. Other courses develop to meet perceived interests. As long as enough people would like to learn the same thing, there’s the capability to help them and we can find some time, there can be a course.
Music Literacy Course
6 x 2 hour sessions spread over two or three months, allowing people time to practise and reinforce between sessions if they want to. The sessions are practical and informal, and detailed materials are provided to support the optional independent work.
The course takes people from the very start of dealing with pitch and rhythm notation up to understanding how keys, chords and syncopation work. It covers much of the content of Grade V theory, but includes the why and how, not just the what. Over 20 people have already taken up the course, from a range of starting points. Some have never engaged with music before while others play an instrument or sing regularly. All have found the course interesting, enjoyable and helpful.
Everyone is encouraged to use a keyboard to support their learning. The keyboard is a really useful reference point. We work on very basic keyboard skills, because these help the development of literacy.
Groups are between about 6 and 10.
Cost £25 or £30 - depends on the size of the group.
Start the Recorder
By the autumn of 2016, several people had said they’d like to having a go at resurrecting their recorder skills. Others thought it would be fun to start or restart from scratch. The former group meet on Music Saturdays. The latter came together for three sessions of a “Start the Recorder” course. Recorders were borrowed, found in drawers and bought. With course members choosing recorders in different sizes - descants, trebles and tenors, we had from the start a less shrill sound to work with than comes from descants in large herds.
This course is planned to meet the needs and skills of adult beginners. While being able to read music is handy, there’s no need to be able to, and the course helps players get going. It starts by looking at how the recorder works as a piece of technology and encourages establishing effective practice habits and explorations - as well as having fun.
The ratio of laughter to blowing amongst the original group has been about 50/50!
Cost depends on whether we can fit into someone’s house or need to hire the Village Hall.
There will be 3 x 2 hour sessions spread over 2 months to allow for practice.
Tin Whistle Workshop
We held our first tin whistle workshop on May 16, 2017 in the Village Hall. Fifteen people came along to give it a go, most of whom had not played before. In just two hours, everyone could play something and some could play lots.
Tin whistles are friendly, forgiving instruments, and you don't need to learn lots of skills to get going. The hardest thing is organising your fingers, which can be a bit frustrating at first, but with some time and patience they fall into line. Whistles are inexpensive and you don't need to be able to read music.
The first workshop was so well received that we followed it up with an Irish Evening on July 11 2017. This event was open to anyone who wanted to play or sing. It gave the whistlers something to aim for and all of us a lot of fun. It was enjoyed so much we will repeat it, or something similar, from time to time.
Another starter session for whistle can be arranged – log your interest. Two hours long, materials provided, and you can order a whistle too. Cost depends on whether we meet in the Village Hall or a house.
Following the Music Literacy Course, several people has said it would be interesting to understand more about how pieces of music work. As a result, in August 2016, we had a day long seminar exploring Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony.
This would be something I’d like to develop, especially linked to pieces people particularly like or are going to hear in concerts. Interested? If a course is scheduled it will be listed on this page. Make contact to book a place.
If no course is scheduled but you are interested, make contact in order to register that interest and help make another course happen. You will be consulted about dates and times.